General Cleaning Of Painted Or Waxed Wood Surfaces
- Procedure code:
- Hspg Prepared For Nps - Sero
- Wood and Plastics
- Finish Carpentry
- Last Modified:
GENERAL CLEANING OF PAINTED OR WAXED WOOD SURFACES
A. This procedure includes guidance for periodically
cleaning painted or waxed wood surfaces.
B. See 01100-07-S for general project guidelines to be
reviewed along with this procedure. These guidelines
cover the following sections:
1. Safety Precautions
2. Historic Structures Precautions
4. Quality Assurance
5. Delivery, Storage and Handling
6. Project/Site Conditions
7. Sequencing and Scheduling
8. General Protection (Surface and Surrounding)
These guidelines should be reviewed prior to performing
this procedure and should be followed, when applicable,
along with recommendations from the Regional Historic
Preservation Officer (RHPO).
C. For guidance on refinishing wood surfaces, see 06400-10-R.
NOTE: Chemical products are sometimes sold under a common
name. This usually means that the substance is not as pure as
the same chemical sold under its chemical name. The grade of
purity of common name substances, however, is usually adequate
for stain removal work, and these products should be purchased
when available, as they tend to be less expensive. Common
names are indicated below by an asterisk (*).
A. Non-Ionic detergent such as "Joy" or "Ivory Liquid", or
trisodium phosphate (TSP)
1. Trisodium Phosphate:
NOTE: THIS CHEMICAL IS BANNED IN SOME STATES SUCH
AS CALIFORNIA. REGULATORY INFORMATION AS WELL AS
ALTERNATIVE OR EQUIVALENT CHEMICALS MAY BE
REQUESTED FROM THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
(EPA) REGIONAL OFFICE AND/OR THE STATE OFFICE OF
a. Strong base-type powdered cleaning material
sold under brand names.
b. Other chemical or common names include Sodium
Orthophosphate; Tribasic sodium phosphate;
Trisodium orthophosphate; TSP*; Phosphate of
soda*; (also sold under brand names such as).
c. Potential Hazards: CORROSIVE TO FLESH.
d. Available from chemical supply house, grocery
store or supermarket or hardware store.
B. Mineral Spirits:
1. A petroleum distillate that is used especially as a
paint or varnish thinner.
2. Other chemical or common names include Benzine*
(not Benzene); Naphtha*; Petroleum spirits*;
3. Potential Hazards: TOXIC AND FLAMMABLE.
4. Safety Precautions:
a) AVOID REPEATED OR PROLONGED SKIN CONTACT.
b) ALWAYS wear rubber gloves when handling
c) If any chemical is splashed onto the skin,
wash immediately with soap and water.
5. Available from construction specialties
distributor, hardware store, paint store, or
printer's supply distributor.
Turpentine: Available from hardware store or paint
1. Other chemical or common names include Methylated
2. Potential hazards: TOXIC AND FLAMMABLE.
3. Available from hardware store, paint store or
printer's supply distributor.
4. Denatured alcohol should be a satisfactory
substitute for ethyl alcohol for stain removing
C. Paste wax
D. Liquid bleach
E. Clean, potable water
A. 000 steel wool
B. Two buckets (solution and rinse)
C. Two sponges (solution and rinse)
D. Supply of soft dry wiping cloths
F. Drop cloth
G. 16" electric floor machine
H. Lamb's wool buffing pads
1. Cover all surfaces and equipment not to be cleaned.
Coverings must be adhered without adhesive tape or
nails. Impervious sheeting that produces
condensation shall not be used.
2. Make sure work area is well ventilated and wear
protective clothing and rubber gloves.
3. When cleaning, always rub along the grain of the
4. Change cloths as often as necessary to be effective
B. Surface Preparation: Thoroughly dust and/or vacuum
surfaces before washing.
3.02 ERECTION, INSTALLATION, APPLICATION
A. Cleaning Painted Wood Surfaces:
1. To clean spots, rub area gently with a clean, damp
sponge and dry with a clean wiping cloth.
2. If water alone will not remove spot, use a non-
ionic detergent or TSP solution as described below,
rinse thoroughly, and wipe dry. If this cleaning
procedure leaves a noticeable difference between
treated and untreated areas, cleaning is not being
performed properly or frequently enough.
a. Wash dirt and grease using a solution of 3
quarts warm water mixed with 2/3 cup trisodium
phosphate (TSP) and non-ammoniated detergent.
If mildew is a problem add 1 quart of liquid
b. Start at a lower corner of room, moisten 5 to
10 square feet of surface, then scrub with a
medium bristle brush to remove dirt.
Thoroughly rinse surface, two rinses may be
required, and wipe dry with clean wiping
c. Continue process on lower portion of walls
around entire room, slightly overlapping
preceding section. ALWAYS WASH THE LOWER
PORTION FIRST BECAUSE SOLUTION STREAKS RUNNING
DOWN A DIRTY WALL CANNOT BE REMOVED. Proceed
to wash upper wall surfaces and ceiling,
including any painted wood ornament, from
B. Cleaning Waxed Wood Surfaces:
NOTE: WAX IS AN IMPORTANT MAINTENANCE AGENT WHICH
PROTECTS AGAINST MATERIAL ABRASION AND WETTING. ITS
ADVANTAGE IS THAT IT IS EASY TO APPLY AND EASY TO REMOVE.
IT CAN BE RECONDITIONED WITHOUT STRIPPING BY APPLYING
MORE WAX AND REBUFFING. THE SOLVENT IN THE WAX
RECONDITIONS THE PREVIOUS COAT AND MINIMIZES BUILD-UP.
1. For walls:
a. Follow the above wall washing techniques, but
keep the surface as dry as possible. Cleaning
solution should contain only non-ionic
detergent and water.
b. Working in a well-ventilated area, remove
paste wax by rubbing hard with a coarse cloth
soaked in turpentine.
c. Remove stubborn dirt spots by scrubbing
lightly with 000 steel wool. Change cloth or
steel wool when they become clogged with old
d. Apply wax with a clean, soft cloth. Waxing
unpainted wood surfaces is imperative for
protection from moisture and abrasion. Use a
paste or microcrystalline wax that is
removable by water or turpentine.
e. Place a small amount on the cloth and wipe it
over surface leaving a thin, even coating.
Wipe off any stray wax grains.
f. Buff wax before it hardens.
NOTE: Paste wax can be reconditioned by
applying more wax and rebuffing. The solvent
in the paste wax reconditions previous coats
and minimizes build-up.
2. For floors:
NOTE: BE SURE THE WAX IS DESIGNATED FOR USE ON
HARDWOOD FLOORS. DO NOT USE A LIQUID WAX WITH A
WATER-BASE (I.E. FUTURE). NATIONAL OAK FLOORING
MANUFACTURERS ASSOCIATION (NOFMA) RECOMMENDS USING
ONLY A SOLVENT-BASE PRODUCT.
a. Place a small amount of wax on dampened,
clean, soft cloth and wipe it over the floor
leaving a thin and even coating. It is not
necessary to go right to the baseboards
because the buffing operation will spread the
wax to the edges of the room in every place
except the inside corners.
b. Buff floor using a 16" electric floor machine
and lamb's wool pads. Reverse or replace pads
as they become dirty. Buff to high gloss.
NOTE: TAKE CARE NOT TO DAMAGE ADJACENT
c. After polishing, sweep the floor to pick up
stray wax grains that are loose on the floor.
Wash all equipment before the wax hardens.
A. BOTH PASTE WAX AND TURPENTINE ARE FLAMMABLE, DISPOSE OF
USED CLOTHS PROPERLY IN A METAL SAFETY CONTAINER TO GUARD
AGAINST SPONTANEOUS COMBUSTION.
END OF SECTION